There will be thousands of warm nights
like this one, millions of the beetles, this whole darkened face
of earth erupting in brief constellations.
Praise the mockingbird,
unashamed that he is alone, praise the beetle,
the hornet, all night’s shy & vicious ornaments . . .
when I was young, his voice a low path through nightmare,
reading so that I wouldn’t dream of dying . . .
A bird sits the branch in beauty for
It has recently killed.
It is required you do awake your faith, Paulina says to Leontes, and these crows, spurting from the night’s silence into the gray before dawn’s rose, yell it in through my open window. I am slow to cooperate. O Lord, I owe you at least the modest diligence of looking carefully each day; so let…Read More
Tenderly as one cradles a bowl of water, he embraced me, and we rose upwards. Black as night, first mother of songs, he opened my mouth and images thronged around me: some pressed themselves like kisses or worn lace against my arms, while others I only glimpsed in wing-beat. Strong as any lover who had…Read More
(from Hopkins’s journal of a vacation on the Isle of Man, August 1872) So much need in that “Again.” To see it in good weather. To look down again from the cliffs at the high water of a full tide. To hold the kaleidoscope of the waves to his eye and watch them churn and…Read More
The swallows dive near and twist Their invisible strings as if Binding you hand and foot, And tumble away, swallows like souls In paradise, whispering, “Here is one Who will increase our loves….” Every summer they came, they must have— Who could stop them?—to build Where they had built, looping The same knot theories and…Read More
And he sent forth a raven and it went back and forth, to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. —Genesis 8:7 To traverse open water searching for signs of life, a seabird is more suited than a land bird, which needs the trustworthy stubble of wheat fields and faithful…Read More
First try, the bird dropped from the sky, belly-flopping the surface that separates our two worlds, and came up empty. He rose again and wung away in easy, languorous strokes, as if it was all part of the plan. Hunger returned him. But whose? What surprises us now, despite our dragnet…Read More